Bandai Namco’s Blue Protocol impresses and confuses players with superb quality of cabbage
The cabbage in Blue Protocol has recently become a topic of discussion among Japanese users for its level of detail and beauty. It all started when Twitter user @bironist, who creates VR worlds and 3D models, made a post pointing out that the modeling of the cabbage in Blue Protocol is a whole tier above in quality compared to all the other vegetables.
Blue Protocol is an online action RPG by PROJECT SKY BLUE, a project of BANDAI NAMCO Online and Bandai Namco Studios. The game takes place in a fantasy world permeated by the mysterious light “Engram.” The player enters the story as the main character, suffering from amnesia. The player is rescued by Feste, a young demi-human girl, and embarks on an adventure with her.
The world of Blue Protocol is vivid and lifelike – the first town you visit, Asterliese, is a large trading city with a wide variety of street stalls lined up, featuring all manner of goods available for purchase. The variety of different objects that exist in the game contributes greatly to its vividness.
Vegetables also exist in Blue Protocol, and among them, cabbage seems to stand out in particular. Cabbage, which can be found in scarce amounts in the agricultural village of Minsterhorm, is clearly of a higher quality of modeling compared to the rest, with every detail up to the veins of the leaves being rendered. The Blue Protocol cabbage is so lifelike it wouldn’t stand out in a real supermarket, and frankly looks quite delicious.
What about the other vegetables? To begin with, few of the fruits and vegetables in this game work are even modeled individually. For example, the vegetables in the Asterliese stalls are often modeled in a group, sometimes a part of the stall itself, with a low-poly count and mostly simplified.
The bananas and watermelons can be said to be modeled relatively accurately, but they’re still not at the same level as the cabbage. Clearly, only cabbage is depicted in detail for some reason. Speaking of cabbage, there is an internet meme in Japan that involves cabbage and quality – due to a notoriously badly drawn cabbage in a cooking scene in the anime Yoake Mae yori Ruriiro na: Crescent Love, the term kyabetsu (cabbage) has come to often be used to describe low quality depictions of things in anime, games etc. People seem to tend to pay attention to the way fruits, vegetables and similar are depicted in games (for example, the low-poly grapes in FFXIV had once gone viral). This may be part of why the Blue Protocol cabbage is gathering so much attention.
We can’t be sure why only cabbage is of such high quality, but we can make an educated guess. As the density of buildings and objects is very high in Asterliese, it seems necessary to simplify the depiction of objects, including vegetables, so that things can run smoothly. On the other hand, Minsterhorn, where the cabbage is located, is a peaceful village. There are houses and a few stalls around, but it’s wide and spacious, so even if the cabbage contains more detail, it won’t affect performance.
Another possible explanation is that the cabbage was made more lifelike because it’s placed in a field in a way that stands out compared to other vegetables and has a bigger presence, thus would be more likely to ruin the atmosphere of the game if depicted in lower quality. But, in the end, only the developers know the real reason.
Note that it’s not possible to go to Minsterhorn, where the cabbage is, right after starting the game. You can only go there after completing a few tutorials. This is the moment when you first experience the freedom and vastness of the world, so may as well be possible that the luxuriant cabbage was prepared as a reward to celebrate the player’s progress.
Written by. Amber V based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2023-06-19 11:36 JST)